8 Common Misconceptions About Crawlspace Insulation
If you own a home with a crawl space, you probably want to have that space insulated. Insulation saves you money on energy costs and protects your home from water damage, mold, and odor. But insulation is an investment and so it is important for you to cut through the myths and get to the truth.
Myth 1. – The More the Better
It is not always a good idea to load the walls, ceiling, and floor of your space with insulation. Though you do not want the warm air to seep out, there does need to be some airflow so that moisture in the air is not trapped.
Myth 2. – Insulation Only Needs to Meet Standard R Values
Insulation is not a one size fits all solution and installing a product that simply meets minimum requirements is not always the answer. In fact, air infiltration is the leading cause of energy loss so a product that promotes proper flow is more important than minimum standards.
Myth 3. – Any Insulation is Better Than None at All
Paper or foil-faced insulation is really only effective in a totally enclosed cavity and not between the floor joists. When this is the only product used, it is not only ineffective but it can also become a danger as it causes mold to grow as it gets wet or damp.
Myth 4. – Foam Insulation is Not Worth the Cost
Today’s open cell foam materials repel moisture and dry very quickly when they get damp. They are worth the extra money.
Myth 5. – Vapor Barriers are the Answer
Moisture also seeps in from walls and many experts now recommend ventilation systems in addition to vapor barriers. The best solution may be to install an encapsulation system on the ground floor.
Myth 6. – A Well Ventilated Crawl Space Needs No Insulation
Ventilation may prevent moisture and odor build up but it does nothing to keep your heat and AC inside your home. Your energy costs may rise in this case as your utilities escape through your crawl space.
Myth 7. – I Can Insulate Rather Than Ventilate
Just as ventilation alone is not the most effective solution, insulation alone will not solve all the problems. Totally sealing your crawl space makes it a stagnant area that promotes odors and mildew and may trap mice or other insects.
Myth 8. – DIY is Best
Insulation solutions vary according to the type of space. Professionals know the latest research and can recommend the most effective products for your situation.
There are many misconceptions about insulating your crawl space and the abundance of existing information is difficult to sift through. But the proper solution for your specific space exists and you just may need some help finding it. Working with a professional can debunk the myths and ensure that your home will be comfortable and efficient for a long time.